Life & Style

Good old radios

Abuthahir M A with his collection of vintage radios

Abuthahir M A with his collection of vintage radios   | Photo Credit: M.Periasamy

Abuthahir MA wants to share his love for vintage radios with the public and dreams of having them displayed in a museum

“Vintage products are all about the history that they have. I am glad that I can preserve some of it through my collection,” says Abuthahir M.A. He has recently exhibited his radios in the city as a part of the World Radio Day. The event was in association with The Rotary Club of Coimbatore, Cotton City. There were 100 or so familiar radio brands such as Murphy, Radiolla, Regentone, Zenith, Tata and Philips that he had collected in the last 28 years.

“Radios always fascinated me. As a child, I listened to movie songs on my neighbour’s radio. My first job was in a radio servicing centre in Coimbatore. It was there that I learnt about its different parts and how it works.” He bought his first radio for ₹35 from a scrap dealer in 1990 . “It is a Jennith Ham Radio from the 1924-1936 period. It has a wooden body and vacuum tubes inside. The parts are made in America and England and it is the oldest in my collection.”

Scenes from the exhibition

Scenes from the exhibition   | Photo Credit: S.SIVA SARAVANAN

The 42-year- old has collected the radios from Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and West Bengal. “Earlier I used to ask the older people about the history of these radios. Now the information is easily available from the internet.” His most expensive acquisition is a Gerard’s Philips Radio (1956 model). “It weighs 70 kg and was for sale at a house in Namakkal in 1999. Just as I reached there, I found another man carrying it away in an auto! I was sad but my search for a similar radio continued and, nearly a year later, I found one at Thoothukudi. I bought it for ₹16000,” recalls Abuthahir.

His collection has radios from the 1930s to the 1990s. “I own 160 radios of which 50 work. I have rented a house to keep them. The radios are treated with pesticides once in a month and I make sure they are kept away from moisture.”

He also has a collection of coins, stamps and clocks, watches and wooden dolls. He has conducted 53 exhibitions of his collections in Tamil Nadu and in Puducherry. “I hope to conduct more such shows and spread awareness. My biggest dream is to build a public museum with my collection on display in Coimbatore.”

 

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Printable version | May 29, 2020 1:42:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/abuthahir-ma-wants-to-share-his-love-for-vintage-radios-with-the-public-and-dreams-of-having-them-displayed-in-a-museum/article26267734.ece

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